Hands on experience with cloud IDEs?

This post would definitely not fly on SO but hopefully some of you have some experience with them here.

I’m going to be very mobile over the next six months and dedicated to some projects that are not going to let me use my normal development systems to work on Meteor projects. A cloud IDE would, theoretically, be a really good fit for this time.

I read the following post here on the forums:

but it is mostly focused on what your favorite editors are instead of having focus on the cloud IDEs out there.

I’m just wondering if anyone has done some extensive testing with any of these IDEs and found one to work well with Meteor development. Fortunately they all seem to have a text editor of sorts and some give full shell access to the Docker image so there’s a lot of control and obviously all we technically need is an editor. Cloud9 has built-in integration with Bitbucket (my goto for personal private repos) and even has the Meteor logo on the homepage (almost reason enough to pick them)!

I tried Koding back when it was Kodingen but that was before they switched to giving full VMs. The up-time and interface was just not usable but it looks like they’ve come a long way.

Nitrous looks cool because of the Nitrous desktop which can sync with multiple machines so I can still use SublimeText or Webstorm, etc. Course I can do this a bit with the others by using copy.com or dropbox, etc too. Really though for the next several months it would be best if it was just purely in a browser and SSH.

Anyway, clearly an opinion thread but didn’t know if someone else has already gone down this road and might have some advice. Any of them already have some helpful features (code completion, etc) that we might find useful for Meteor development?

I tried just running a Linux box myself and using SSH remotely to get to vim but I find myself more productive with an editor or IDE. I know that isn’t as ‘hardcore’ but for me it is more productive and that’s what is important.


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I was recently exploring SourceLair, and liked it a lot. It will run your Meteor App code. However it currently doesn’t allow the HTTP connection (from Node.) That is scheduled to be fixed in a couple weeks at which time it will be a nice option for Meteor development in the cloud.

I use cloud9 a lot. I like being able to connect the c9 ide to my dedicated server via ssh. With this setup, I can do whatever I want for free.

Plus, the editor and interface are pretty good.

I’ve got to give a huuuuuge shout-out to Cloud9; their support for Meteor is fantastic, their support in-general is fantastic and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a cloud-based IDE.

They’ve even helped my local Meteor Meetup group to run a group live-coding session by sorting out some workspace for us all to use together. Simply awesome.

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You should definitely try codio.com. It is my favorite of the cloud IDEs. I haven’t had any issues running Meteor apps on it. It has Bitbucket integration. It doesn’t have sudo access, but most shell commands are available without it.

Im using a development box on nitrous.io. They have desktop clients, so you code on your pc/mac when you want, as usual (except that code runs on their remote box instead of your local machine).

When travelling, I use my iPad (with the diet coda editor) and can continue code seamlessly where I left. You can get started for free, and after some configurations you can switch devices as you like, just hit “save” on a file before you switch, nitrous syncs all your stuff via ssh/sftp.

They also have git integrated, so my workflow is fully supported (and by the way you go easy on your SSD on your devices)

Nitrous also offers a quite good webIDE and is available as a chrome app, too. Pretty useful when you’re doing stuff on a chromebook or when sitting in front of a windows PC with nothing installed except a chrome browser.

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Our team recently were looking for a simple way to make remote pair programming seamless. That did included couple of cloud IDE:

See details of our investigation below:


  • Really nice editor with vim shortcuts when it works. The best web editor from what we have tried.
  • Full machine access
  • No ability to sync to local machine.
  • Machines are really slow even on paid plans
  • Really unstable when trying to use collaboration features. If don’t need them, no worry.


  • Container based - reuse your dev/production container (almost)
  • IDE is really complicated
  • Container integration is still a bit odd as they only allow one container. Running mongo in separate container is not supported -> data will disappear all the time :frowning:


  • Sync to remote machine via rsync - use your favourite editor and run via ssh(their desktop clients help you setup SSH tunnel so that localhost:3000 is pointing to nitrous machine)
  • In-browser terminal and VERY simple IDE
  • Really fast machines. We ended up using C9 + Nitrous machine for some time as it was faster to connect between their clouds then to use C9 machine… :\
  • No sudo access on the machine - meaning you can’t install any software which is not part of their autoparts repository and requires sudo access.

Nitrous PRO

  • Container based - sudo access is not required as you just put all software you need on a container and push it to docker hub.
  • Allows to run multiple containers and link them together. See my complain abou
  • VERY EARLY BETA :frowning:
  • Slower stack creation. Compare to standard nitrous it does take more time to spin up full stack due to initial download time of all containers.
  • New IDE is super rough

CodeAnywhere - I only tried it personally cause I want to have something available on iPad

  • Supposely supports for mobile devices
  • Full access to machine
  • In reality half of features don’t work on mobile
  • SLOW machines at least free ones.
    As interesting fact we ended up not using any of them and opt out for Floobits instead but it’s not really a good fit for what you are looking for.

If you really want to avoid using local editor go for Cloud9. Don’t expect to save a lot of battery with Cloud9, however.
If you run something small like Vim/Sublime/Atom on your machine to save battery I’d recommend looking at Nitrous or better Nitrous Pro when it becomes public.



Disclaimer: I am working for Cloud9.

Great discussion and feedback. Based on this I am looking into creating a meteor workspace type with a bit of extra performance to make Meteor dev on Cloud9 a joy :smile: Will keep you posted!



We have not announced this publicly yet, but you can go ahead and test the new Cloud9 Meteor workspace-type on https://c9.io as of today :slight_smile: Just create a new project and select Meteor as the template. Would love to get feedback!


That’s awesome, so far everything is working fine, autocomplete, cli etc…
Best way to introduce newcomers to Meteor with minimal overhead.


edit: Issue, Meteor doesn’t seem to be included in the $path when creating a workspace from a github project.

@nonken, Thanks for setting up Meteor on c9.io. C9 looks awesome. I was experimenting with it before your update and ran into an error reporting that the 512MB memory limit was exceeded and a process was killed. I noticed that your new Meteor project sets the memory limit at 768MB and the trivial demo project reports 655MB usage.

My question. I can’t reconcile the c9 reported memory usage. By comparison, my much larger production app runs on the free 512MB Heroku dyno without problem. And Kadira reports my Heroku app is using under 200MB. So I’m not understanding why the c9 project reports so much greater a memory usage. Can you offer any insight here?

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I use nitrous.io as my only Meteor dev environment. I deploy from there to modulus.io. Everything has worked swimmingly. The inability to sudo has been a minor inconvenience, but it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything I’ve needed to do.

Edit: I used c9.io for a while but it felt slow and I had some problems getting it to work with the Hartl rails tutorial. This prompted me to look for an alternative, and that led me to nitrous.

Hi Vince, thx for the feedback. We (c9.io) have put quite a bit of effort into performance over the past month so I’d love to hear your view on whether this got better in your experience.

@MazDev thanks for the feedback, looking into updating the workspace
@vince this is really valuable and odd so we need to take a better look at why this is happening and why in our case we are hitting >500MB (which I thought was a lot already)

It’s even more fun when it runs out of memory on a paid plan with 1Gb of memory. I suspect it could be mongo eating a lot of memory for its cache :\

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Oh nice,
Are they SSD now ? I think that is what make nitrous so much faster as they are using ONLY ssd for all plans

Yes, all workspaces have SSDs. Thanks for the mongo hint, looking into this!


I’m impressed with how quickly you added the Meteor template. Thanks!

I am having similar issues to others above with running out of memory. Any progress on this?

I just ran into another issue. Just as a test I have a very trimmed down version (less than 50 lines of code) of the leaderboard example on c9. I have included an image that shows I am beyond my disk space limit so I can’t run this app at all.

It looks like most of the space is consumed by packages that are included in this template and the prealloc files in .meteor/local/db/journal

Anyone tried koding?

Glad, I found this thread trying to set my Mom up with a Meteor dev environment on her Chrome Book today … I’ll update with her feedback on Cloud9. The last language she coded in was Pascal so this will be, well let’s say interesting.

So far so good … however running the blank Meteor application does max out the memory on the free tier.

Cloud9 is the best option for me… its like a full server

I tried almost every web IDE out there… Codio was promising but they broke the idea of “IDE” to make a presentation/teaching tool… no full COMMAND LINE also.

Cloud9: 8.7/10 - Fast x2 - Expensive.

Codio: 7.5/10 - Fast - Connection issues - Expensive - No Sudo.

Nitrous.io: 5.8/10 - Not so fast - Connection Issues if weak network - Desktop Support - Nitro pay ??? give me dollars-server please - No Sudo.

Codebox: Broken UI - Broken IDE - Random Lines Disappearance.